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[Book Review] To The Farthest Shores : Elizabeth Camden

To The Farthest  Shores

to the farthest shores

[Book Review]
I did receive a free copy of this book in return for my review, but all opinions are my own.

To The Farthest Shores is the latest book by author Elizabeth Camden. I am ashamed to admit that I have never read any of her other books but I plan on changing that going forward! She is a brilliant author that leads you through the story wondering what is waiting around the corner of the next page turn. Unfortunately a lot of books I have read in my time have been quite predictable but I was constantly surprised and eager to read more of To The Farthest Shores. Just as I thought I had it figured out, there would be yet another twist!

The book is set in the early 1900’s at the Presidio Army base with a nurse named Jenny Bennett. The story follows her on her journey of a broken heart by a man she thought would love her forever. He had betrayed her and she was unsure if the trust would ever be restored. Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher is a man with a mission, a very secretive mission. He couldn’t open up to Jenny about the details because of how it may impact the United States and their plan for the future of the mission. He tries, despite the lingering past, to win her back but Jenny is unrelenting in lowering her wall she had put up to keep him out.

I do not want to give away too many details because I urge you to read this book! The historical romance is intriguing and Camden does a fantastic job of holding your attention as a reader. I read the book in two days which is quick even for me! I don’t generally have a lot of time to dedicate to reading but I simply could not put the book down. I wanted to read at every chance I could find and I did just that.

You can get your copy on Amazon today!

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As an added bonus I was able to score an author interview with Elizabeth Camden! I love hearing how writers get started and what continues pushing them forward. 

1. What led you to start writing?

I used to daydream about what kind of novel I would write if I ever had the time. Then one day my husband suggested I ought to simply start, but I told him I was way too busy with job, family, etc. He made the point that I would regret it if on my deathbed I had this unfulfilled dream and never even bothered to TRY. I walked away and grumbled, mentally recycling all my arguments about how busy I was….but you know what? Almost every writer is busy. They ALL have jobs and families. So I sat down and gave it my best effort. The journey proved longer and more difficult that I could possibly have imagined, but I am so grateful that my husband gave me that nudge. I have written the details of my publication journey here.

2. Is the character of Jenny Bennett based on anyone in particular or just someone you made up?

All my major characters are pretty much made up out of thin air, but I often base secondary characters around people I’ve met. I work on a college campus, so I tend to be exposed to a wide variety of brilliant, eccentric, or just plain odd people. Those folks often pop up in my novels, but I’ll usually switch the age or gender so as to avoid trouble.

3. Who is your writing “idol”?

At the moment I am wildly infatuated with a German writer named Petra Durst-Benning. She writes wonderful novels, mostly set in late 19th century Germany. Her books are slowly being translated into English and I devour them the day they are released. 

4. Do you ever experience “reader’s block” where you just feel like you cannot read anymore?

Not really. I suffer from adult ADD, so I usually have about 5 books or magazines in a stack that I continually cycle through. I’ll spend twenty minutes on a biography, half an hour on a history book, an hour on a novel, then go read some headlines….I can burn through a whole day this way!

5. Does your family support your career as an author?

I’m very lucky here, as it is a resounding YES. My husband has very much enjoyed watching me get published, and we celebrate each new novel together. I don’t think I could be here without him.

6. Did you always know you wanted to become a writer?

As a kid I remember being devastated by the ending of Charlotte’s Web, and vowing that when I grew up I would write a better ending for it. Of course, I didn’t understand rules about plagiarism back then, but my goal was to write stories that create a world where I’d like to live, put my characters through some stormy times, but have them arrive at a happy ending. Historical romance is the perfect genre for me. 

7. My husband majored in history also! What is your favorite part about being a research librarian?

I love the diversity of subjects I work with. I am a business librarian, so mostly I work with folks developing new businesses or services, but on any given day I also field questions about Shakespeare, chemistry, symbolism in art…I’m not an expert in any of those things, but I know how to get started. 

8. What is your number one tip to anyone looking to venture in to the world of becoming a writer?

The only way to learn how to write is to fire up your computer and start. As you write, start reading some good books about the craft. Those books won’t make any sense until you start writing, so get some chapters under your belt and then dive into reading about how to be a writer. One book I highly recommend for newbies is The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack Bickham.

So my number one tip is learning to have the humility to assess your work. It is hard. You have to have a deep understanding of the genre you are writing in, self-awareness of your weaknesses, and willingness to keep learning.  

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